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Hosseini: The Kite Runner

9. Chapter 8: The Birthday Party

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About this Lecture


In this module, we read through the eighth chapter of the novel, focusing in particular on: (i) the relationship between Amir and Baba; (ii) Amir’s desire to tell his story – but his inability to do so (“‘I watched Hassan get raped,’ I said to no one”, p. 80); (iii) the symbolism of the pomegranate; (iv) the Christian idea of ‘turning the other cheek’; (v) Assef’s gift to Amir – and the parallels between the figure of Hitler and what he represents and the scene we have just witnessed between Amir and Hassan; and (vi) Rahim Khan’s philosophy that “the world always wins”, the extent this is true for both Amir and Hassan.


In this course, Professor John McRae (University of Nottingham) explores Khalid Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. We begin with a broad introduction to the historical, political and literary context of the novel, before going through the whole novel chapter-by-chapter, providing close reading and detailed analysis, with commentary on character, plot, themes, motifs, language, symbolism and more.


John McRae is Special Professor of Language in Literature Studies and Teaching Associate in the School of English at Nottingham University, and holds Visiting Professorships in China, Malaysia, Spain and the USA. He is co-author of The Routledge History of Literature in English with Ron Carter, and also wrote The Language of Poetry, Literature with a Small 'l' and the first critical edition of Teleny by Oscar Wilde and others.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

McRae, J. (2021, January 13). Hosseini: The Kite Runner - Chapter 8: The Birthday Party [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

McRae, J. "Hosseini: The Kite Runner – Chapter 8: The Birthday Party." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 13 Jan 2021,